Weis Markets unveils $150M expansion and upgrade plan

Dive Brief:

  • Weis Markets plans to spend more than $150 million in 2022 on projects including new retail locations, upgrades to existing facilities and improvements to its information technology infrastructure, the mid-Atlantic supermarket chain’s chief executive said on Thursday during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
  • The grocer plans to add four new stores through the capital expenditure program, “some of which will be completed in the coming years,” President and CEO Jonathan Weis said in a statement.
  • Weis Markets unveiled its investment plans after posting record net sales of $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2021 even as its net income dropped by 8.5% compared with the previous fiscal year.

Dive Insight:

In addition to investing in four new locations, Weis Markets has earmarked funds in its budget for 2022 to expand one existing store and remodel five others, Weis said in a press release about the shareholder meeting, without elaborating. The Pennsylvania-based retailer also plans to develop eight fuel centers and make other unspecified improvements to its stores, according to the announcement.

The grocer, which operates just under 200 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia, opened one new store and three replacement locations in 2021. The chain also finished 13 “major” remodels and completed 1,100 projects in its stores.

In January, Weis Markets opened its latest store, a 63,000-square-foot location in Warminster, Pennsylvania.

According to Weis Markets’ annual report for 2021, the grocer typically allocates one-third of its capital budget to new stores each year. The company said it usually dedicates 15% to 20% of its capital expenditures to store remodeling projects, with the balance going to supply chain- and technology-related investments and other improvements.

Weis Markets said in March its comparable store sales for FY 2021 rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis and were up 18.1% on a two-year stack.

“As a retailer that benefited from our customers’ increased food-at-home consumption because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we note that the last two fiscal years of net sales and income from operations were the first or second highest in our company’s 110-year history,” Weis said in a statement issued when the company released its results for 2021. “The working capital from this positive momentum positions us well for the future to execute our long-term strategy to prudently reinvest for profitable growth.”

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